Sometimes it's good to be lucky and other times it's lucky to be good. It was the latter for the San Jose Sharks who defeated the New York Rangers 4-1 Saturday afternoon despite the stellar goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist through the first two periods.
The third period, however, was a different story for the Swedish netminder.
Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal six minutes into the third period after Tomas Hertl skated to the net forcing Lundqvist to make a save, creating a fat rebound for Thornton who cleaned it up for his 17th goal of the season.
San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when they went on a powerplay after New York was whistled for too many men on ice. At the tail end of the man-advantage, Joonas Donskoi appeared to be going for a wrap-around shot behind the net when he delivered a beautiful, no-look backwards pass to Joel Ward who was parked in front of the net and beat Lundqvist top left shelf. Donskoi has created several great scoring plays this season but his assist today may have been the prettiest one all year.
New York would tie the game up in the final minutes of the second period when former Shark Dan Boyle scored skating down ice with a 2-on-1 advantage. Brenden Dillon bailed out early with his slide trying to block the pass from Derick Brassard which left Martin Jones with no chance as Boyle went forehand to backhand with his shot that was released inches outside of the blue paint.
The Sharks would add two more insurance goals from Ward and Joe Pavelski just minutes after Thornton's game-winning goal to pad their lead and chase Lundqvist who looked unstoppable in the first two periods. Antti Raanta would finish the game in between the pipes for New York.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Sharks as they host Arizona at 7 p.m. on Sunday night.
Sharks goals (assists): Joel Ward (Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl), Joe Thornton (Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski), Joel Ward (Patrick Marleau, Paul Martin), Joe Pavelski (Tomas Hertl)